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Potential Supreme Court justice nominee: Who is Leondra Kruger?

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of this session, according to sources.The 83-year-old has been a consistent liberal vote on the court. Now, President Joe Biden will have a chance to nominate his first Supreme Court Justice pick of his presidency.McGeorge School of Law Professor Leslie Jacobs joined Sacramento sister station KCRA to discuss one of Biden's top candidates from California – Justice Leondra Kruger. Biden is eyeing at least three judges for the expected vacancy, and each of them would fulfill his campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court, according to aides and allies.Kruger is currently a justice on the California Supreme Court. She is a graduate of Harvard and Yale’s law school and was previously a Supreme Court clerk. Kruger has argued a dozen cases before the justices as a lawyer for the federal government."She brings excellent qualifications; she has an excellent law school education; she has private law firm experience, government experience and now she has experience being a judge on the California Supreme Court," Jacobs said on Wednesday. "She has shown herself to be reasoned and deliberate in her opinions. Not wild or ideological." Jacobs said Kruger is comparable to Breyer because her rulings are practical."One thing is the stakes are not as high as they have been because the lineup on the court is set. So, that is not on the table. At the same time, we can expect there will be posturing and opposition, but the question would be 'Will there be such opposition that Republicans, for example, would try to stop this?' But they actually do not have the power to do so unless some Democratic senators were to defect," Jacobs said. California Gov. Gavin Newsom remarked on Breyer stepping down Wednesday. The San Francisco native "has brought core California values to our nation’s highest court throughout his distinguished tenure, shaping impactful decisions to strengthen our democracy and change lives for the better," Newsom said. Justice Breyer will retire at the end of the summer, according to two sources who confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Wednesday. The Senate can confirm a successor before there is a formal vacancy, so the White House was getting to work and it was expected to take at least a few weeks before a nomination was formalized.Other successors Biden is considering include U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of this session, according to sources.

The 83-year-old has been a consistent liberal vote on the court. Now, President Joe Biden will have a chance to nominate his first Supreme Court Justice pick of his presidency.

McGeorge School of Law Professor Leslie Jacobs joined Sacramento sister station KCRA to discuss one of Biden's top candidates from California – Justice Leondra Kruger.

Biden is eyeing at least three judges for the expected vacancy, and each of them would fulfill his campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court, according to aides and allies.

Kruger is currently a justice on the California Supreme Court. She is a graduate of Harvard and Yale’s law school and was previously a Supreme Court clerk. Kruger has argued a dozen cases before the justices as a lawyer for the federal government.

"She brings excellent qualifications; she has an excellent law school education; she has private law firm experience, government experience and now she has experience being a judge on the California Supreme Court," Jacobs said on Wednesday. "She has shown herself to be reasoned and deliberate in her opinions. Not wild or ideological."

Jacobs said Kruger is comparable to Breyer because her rulings are practical.

FILE - Deputy assistant U.S. attorney general Lenodra Kruger, stands during her confirmation hearing to the California Supreme Court in San Francisco on Dec. 22, 2014. President Joe Biden has already narrowed the field for his first U.S. Supreme Court pick. One potential nominee is Kruger, 45, a justice on the California Supreme Court. A graduate of Harvard and Yale’s law school she served as a law clerk on the high court before arguing a dozen cases before the court as a lawyer for the federal government. But Kruger, whose mother is Jamaican, has also been described as a moderate, which could be a tough sell for some liberal Democratic senators. (S. Todd Rogers/Pool via AP, File)

S. Todd Rogers/Pool via AP, File

Lenodra Kruger

"One thing is the stakes are not as high as they have been because the lineup on the court is set. So, that is not on the table. At the same time, we can expect there will be posturing and opposition, but the question would be 'Will there be such opposition that Republicans, for example, would try to stop this?' But they actually do not have the power to do so unless some Democratic senators were to defect," Jacobs said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom remarked on Breyer stepping down Wednesday.

The San Francisco native "has brought core California values to our nation’s highest court throughout his distinguished tenure, shaping impactful decisions to strengthen our democracy and change lives for the better," Newsom said.

Justice Breyer will retire at the end of the summer, according to two sources who confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Senate can confirm a successor before there is a formal vacancy, so the White House was getting to work and it was expected to take at least a few weeks before a nomination was formalized.

Other successors Biden is considering include U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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